Wednesday, May 4, 2016

We meant well

To my children:

I'm sorry.  We have failed you.

We knew better than our parents did.  They we so old-fashioned.  They saw the world as black and white - like their TVs when they were young.  They couldn't relate to a technicolor reality the way we could.  Our world was in full color since the day we were born.  We were smarter than them.  They couldn't program a VCR, we created Netflix.  They invented swivel adaptors for their extra long telephone cords to keep them from getting tangled, allowing them to travel a full eight and a half feet outside their kitchen while still remaining on their phone.  We invented smart phones, and email, and texting, so that we could remain connected at all times and in all places, whether it was during dinner at a restaurant, taking a dump in the bathroom, in the middle of Church on Sunday or even while flying at thirty-thousand feet over South Dakota.  Talk about progress!

Although our parents scolded and punished us when we did something wrong, we were more loving with you.  We didn't raise our voices and tell you that you were wrong.  We instead praised your self-expression and unique perspective.  When we did something bad at school, our cruel, old-fashioned parents would give us a serious ear-chewing when we got home.  But if any teacher of yours dared to suggest you had done something wrong, we called for that teacher's removal.  If they gave you a bad grade for sub-standard work, we demanded that they change their standards to be more "fair".  If you sat on the bench in your sporting events because you weren't as good as the others, we were outraged at the coaches and demanded that they give you more playing time.  How dare they suggest one child was better at something than another?!  That's racism, or favoritism, or something-ism, isn't it?!  Above all else, we wanted you to know that you were important.  So we gave you trophies for participating.  We made your teachers grade with purple or blue pens because red markings suggested that your mistakes were wrong.  We compassionately silenced the voices of the majority so that those who were in a minority, would never have to feel like they were in a minority.

Because we loved you.

We sought to give you every advantage we never had.  Our parents were so backward, they would save for years before buying something expensive.  We had to do without so many things that we wanted because our horrible parents "didn't have it in the budget".  We swore that that that wouldn't happen to you.  We gave you everything you wanted, right when you wanted it.  After all, why wait?  You don't have to be able to afford to pay the whole price of something - as long as you can afford the payments.

Because we loved you, we sacrificed our time with you to climb higher up our corporate ladders.  We became a "two-income" family to better afford all the payments.  Our parents would never have done that for us.  Sure, we weren't there when you got home from school, but you knew that what we were doing was for your benefit.  Besides, the school and the TV were doing such a good job of raising you, you didn't really miss out on anything by our being absent.

And with all our efforts to teach you how important you are, you learned.

You learned that truth doesn't matter.  Character doesn't matter.  Results don't matter.

Only winning matters.

...And no matter the character of your results, the truth is you are a winner.

You learned that you deserve to have what you want, and somebody else should give it to you.

You learned that if it can't be said in a 15 second sound bite, it can't possibly be worth listening to.

You learned to value career over care-giving, ease over effort, entertainment over enlightenment, fantasy over faith, handouts over hard work, popularity over principle, security over self-sufficiency, and success without sacrifice.

Wealth is obscene, pornography is not.  You vigorously defend the "rights" of those who exploit women for profit.  You call it art.  You condemn those who speak in favor of chastity and family values.  You call it bigotry.

Morality is obsolete.  Gender is an opinion.  You install urinals in your Ladies' rooms, and sanitary napkin baskets in your Men's rooms.  You celebrate "choice", unless someone chooses to believe in Christ or adhere to the time-tested values of the past.  You worship at the altar of tolerance, while calling intolerant any who pray at the feet of God.

Yes, we failed you because we loved you, and you are now reaping the bitter harvest that we have sown.  The world of reason and prosperity that our parents left to us is lost, and it will not come again in your lifetime.  But maybe, just maybe your grandchildren's grandchildren will revolt against the despotism you and I have ignorantly placed upon them, cast off the shackles of the failed philosophies of the past, embrace principles of liberty and responsibility and rise up to be smarter than their parents.

Just like we did.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Transfer 5 Week 6

Hey everyone so sorry about not emailing for so long. It has been a really hectic few weeks. I have found out that my mission is Ending a little sooner then I planned. I am really sad, but I know that it is the best.

My mission hasn't been anything I expected. It has had many ups and downs. I can still remember Gillian's baptism. She was so ready, and I was happy to see her mom start coming back to church because of it. I loved working with the members and gaining so many friends.

I have always wondered why I have had so many comps and areas since being here. I sortof know why now. I think that God knew that I would need to come home, so I needed to learn what others learn in 18 months to 2 years in 8 months. :P I will be forever greatfull for this opertunity and all that I have expirienced.

As the scriptures say "God's ways are not our ways". We don't always understand why things happen. I do know though that he knows what is best for us. He knows how to help us, and if we follow him, we will be happy and recieve blessings. I wish with all my heart that I could stay till december, but god needs me home for a reason not yet known. I know that jesus is our savior. I know that he suffered so much so that we could be made perfect through him. I know that he is always there, reaching out for us, waiting for us to recieve him. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet just as Thomas S. Monson is one today. I know the book of mormon is true. I know that the gospel is here to make man happy, not to restrict them. May God bless you all and your families.

-Sister Lahra Sherwood

P.S. If you would like to stay in contact my info is:

Lahra Sherwood
8118Simpson Springs Rd.
Eagle Mountain Utah 84005

Facebook: Lahra Sherwood

Monday, February 16, 2015

Interesting Facts about Sister Sherwood

Name: Sister (Lahra) Sherwood
Occupation... Missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
I was born in... Fort Colins, Colorado, USA
My current home is... Essen, Germany
My worst job was... cleaning the bathrooms at a Machine Shop. :P
The last good movie I saw was... Legacy, or The Testaments. Before the mission Saratov Approach.
The best book I have read recently was... 1st Nephi
My favorite TV show is... His Grace. (mormon message seiries on
My favorite munchies are... Frosties (Frosted Flakes), or Peach Rings (a Gummy Candy), or German chocolate in general. :P
My nickname is... ........ Sister Sherwood? :P (when we go bowling for p-day it's Thor, but we aren't really supposed to have nick names.)
My favorite performer is... Chris Hemsworth
My favorite athlete... uh...... the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Nobody knows I... can write in Armenian while looking at an Armenian Book of Mormon.... :P
I'm a sucker for... Babies! Which is hard since I can't hold them.
A really great evening for me is... when I can relax in the bath before bed.
My fantasy is... to baptise one more person before I head home.
The best advice my mother gave me is... Love your companion, no matter what.
The one thing I like most in a person is... when they are positive.
The one thing I can't stand in a person is... No manners (burping and not saying excuse me etc.)
If I could change one thing about myself, I would... Make me less shy.
My most irrational act was... single dating in high school.
Why I think my friends like me is...I am a great listener.
What I like most about where I live now is... that there are trees again! It reminds me of New York.

Monday, February 9, 2015

February 9, 2015

I am doing ok. Htings have been really rough for me, but I am getting through it. Missionary work is going along. Our district has 5 Baptisms this month which is soooooo Awesome!!!!! We have had 4 referals form one Member in our ward who happens to live in an Elderly Home/Pflegerheim. (don't know that word in English. :P) Basicaly, She is a Member who is Great Grandma's age, who we help with her learning how to walk again, and she travels in a wheelchair. It is so cool! She is such a cool member. She is my "German" Great Grandma, and is on the list of people I wish I could take home with me. :D

Alle Meine Liebe,
Sister Sherwood

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Transfer 5 Week 3 (January 28, 2015)

I can't believe that in 3 weeks I will be half way done. :) It's a really sobering and wierd thought. I feel like I just got here, but at the same time like I've been here forever. Life before the mission? I had that? No! I have always been in germany. What is this thing called Utah? :P Ok so I am being a little silly, but it's true. Time has no meaning here. It makes me glad that we have planners, or else I would be so lost. :P

This week has been my Miracle week, but also one of the sad weeks. One of our investigators is struggling to make appointments. This past week, he resceduled 4 times, once because he was drunk and 3 because of work. Then when he said that he had a day off and set an appointment for that day, he didn't show up and now he won't answer his phone. I am hoping that he has just lost it again, and not that he thinks that we are mad at him.

So, on Friday to Saturday I had a split with Sister Heywood, one of the STLs in the Dortmund/Düsseldorf Zones, and We saw so many miracles. We went to go help some people paint again and clean up, when Jefery, said that he was going to go to church with the Köln Elders on Sunday! Then Loraine Said that she would go to church with us as soon as her house is finished. Ah! So we were on a high, but then while traveling to help a family learn english, A man walked up and was staring at my name tag. We asked him if he had heard of the church before, and he said no, but would love to visit it sometime. I didn't have anything with the address on it with me, but he was willing to give us his address, so we could drop it by sometime. I was so happy. I love splits, because that is when miracles seem to randomly happen. :)

Keep Smiling and Find one Miracle every day. They are there, you just have to be looking. :)

Viel Spaß,
Sister Lahra Sherwood

Monday, January 19, 2015

Schönen Guten Morgan!

Hey Everyone!

Sorry about not writing last week. We only had an hour to do emailing, but I promise that I am still alive and well. :) This week I was mostly sick with a cold, which was annoying, I am getting better finally, which is good. :) I am drinking a vitamin C drink. It is really tasty. It's some kind of herbal tea I think. The nurse suggested it. THis week was a really good week. When we weren't stuck in the appartment with me taking it slow so my cold would go away, we did some service and met with Investigators.

Yesterday we had an appointment with an Investigator and he didn't show up. We were really sad for him and are worried about him because he has some drinking problems. I prayed alot for him the past few days. Also yesterday I had a scary Expirience happen to me. I kwas laying in bed, trying to sleep, and I just felt like I couldn't breath. It felt like when a little kid is sitting on your chest. You can still sort of breath, but it is hard and you have to really struggle for each breath. I called the nurse about it, and it turns out I was having a Anxiety/Panic Attack. :/ N.ot fun. I feel better now and really hope that I don't have it again. I pray for all of you often. :)

Viel Spaß!
Sister Sherwood

(Schönen Guten Morgan! means Fine Good Morning!)

Monday, January 5, 2015

Westlake Marching Thunder in Hawaii

Our daughter, Jenna, was given the wonderful opportunity to go to Hawaii with the Westlake High School Marching Thunder Band in December to represent Utah in the Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade. The following video links were posted on YouTube by one of the trip organizer/chaperone. This was a once in a life time opportunity for Jenna and the entire band.

Greetings from Honolulu! We're on day three of a very busy schedule and are just about to get ready for the parade.

So far, the students have spent a day at the Polynesian Cultural Center, another at Pearl Harbor, and attended the memorial and interment ceremony at the USS Utah. There are several videos that have been posted of yesterday's performances. If you haven't seen them yet, there are two on YouTube:

The parade will be live-streamed at beginning at 5 PM Hawaii time (8 PM Utah time). We will also post video online after the parade.

What a night!

The students looked terrific in the parade -- terrific enough to bring home the award as the Grand Champion of the 2014 Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade!

There are some videos on Facebook. There is also video at

More adventures tomorrow. We promise to bring them home tired.

Pictures from the Polynesian Cultural Center

Hawaiian dancers
Samoan dancers
Tongan dancers
Canoe tour around PCC
Easter Island?
Really long canoe
Traditional Fijian temple - one of the last ones in existence.

Pictures from USS Missouri 

Mark and Paige

Captain's Quarters

Mess Hall
Really big bullets for really big gun!
Picture of USS Missouri crew and band
Remember those models of all past Enterprises that Captain Picard had? Well, this captain had some models, too.

An amusing warning sign
Long twisting bridge to Ford Island.
Naval Base across from USS Missouri
Performance area next to USS Missouri
Playing with the missiles.
Lizzy making a new friend!!

Photos from the USS Arizona.

Placing the Westlake wreath.

This is an email from Jenna sent after visiting the USS Missouri and the USS Arizona.

-------- Original message --------

From: Jenna Sherwood
Date:12/07/2014 11:37 AM (GMT-07:00)
Subject: Pearl Harbor

We first suited up, and played for the people on the Missouri. The Missouri is a huge battleship positioned length wise right of the dock. We set up a couple of arcs in front of the middle section of the ship. It wasn't a bad performance, but we ended feeling as if we could, and should have done better. There is power in these patriotic songs when played with emotion. The lady that was running the thing was visibly crying when she thanked us.

The Arizona was awe inspiring. We were expected to be quiet and reverent through the entire thing. It took about an hour. We watched a movie that gave some cool information about that day. Evidently all but three ships we were able to salvage and refit for battle. Those three are the Arizona, the Oklahoma (which capsized), and the Utah (also capsized). Only the Arizona and the Utah do intombment. The boat ride there was silent, and uneventful. The memorial itself had three chambers. You can see all three from the picture. (Somewhat) Mango brought a large wreath to set in front of the wall of names in the back. The place was pretty full, yet the reverent silence was stunning. 1117 names are on that wall! Just from the Arizona. After we got back to shore, it was a couple minutes before the band freely spoke again.

At the Utah, the guy leading the ceremony didn't know we were coming, but he was thrilled anyway. It was a beautiful ceremony, helped by the beauty of nature surrounding us in the setting sun. The remaining survivors of the Utah were there; three of them. We played postlude, and I didn't get a chance to get to see them. My favorite part of that whole day, was the few minutes after we changed and we got to go out on the pier. There were no noises. Only the soft, gentle slapping of water against stone. The sky was a dark blue with a few lasting streaks of orange. The whole ordeal spoke only peace, and calm.

We were complemented after both the Arizona and Utah for our respectful patriotism.

The day was fantastic, but I just can't wait to get home. (This bed sucks!)

Love you lots!

Pictures from the bus - the land of blues and greens!

Dole Pineapple Plantation

Jenna and Julie

Pineapple field - it used to go all the way to the foot of the mountain.
Coffee trees surrounded by pine trees.

 At The Lookout

Wild chickens

Beach Time!

Julie, Mary, Kenna and Jenna with Mr. SeaTurtle!
At the Hawaii Temple Visitor Center

Selfie!! (First and last one Jenna will ever take.)

Waiting for the buses
At Matsumoto's World Famous Shaved Ice
Kenna, Jenna, Lizzy and Julie
No Ice? Uh oh!
Leif and Josh playing with Scott's bag.